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The moon and meteors light up the night

Orionid meteor
An Orionid meteor flashes in a 2015 image captured by Marshall Space Flight Center’s all-sky camera in Alabama. (NASA / MSFC Photo)

Saturday night’s all right … for skywatching: Tonight’s mostly clear skies over Western Washington should provide a good opportunity to see the peak of the Orionid meteor shower, and a great opportunity to check out the nearly full moon on International Observe the Moon Night.

The moon is sure to one-up the meteors: With the full phase just a few days away, it’ll be in the sky nearly all night, washing out most of the Orionids’ fainter flashes. Nevertheless, the weekend timing and the sky cover forecast could make it worth your while to get out of town and see the show.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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